to make it easier on myself

icefishing at the farm


This has been the most rewarding holiday season, pre-holiday season even, that I can remember.  I think that it comes down to a few things, most important of which is to not overwhelm myself.  There are holiday tasks that I am behind on (getting out the cards that have packages with them, such as cowls) and things that I won’t get to do, but I decided early on that I would keep it simple.  Then, whatever extra that I want to do and have time to do will be considered SUPER-FUN, EXTRA BONUS TIME!!! 

Here is what is keeping me sane so far this season…

  • Easy meals on busy days — On a hectic day, try an easy brisket.  I made this yesterday and put it in at 9:30 AM.  At four, I sliced a couple of potatoes and carrots in half, and I dropped them into the slow cooker.  At five, we ate and the food melted in our mouths.  Today, I have plenty of leftovers.  Other easy meals that I like to prepare, which are big enough to accomodate surprise guests and/or provide leftovers include chili and roast chicken. 
  • Stretching out my baking and keeping it simple — I choose a few favorite treats to make and have enough ingredients to make each several times.  Instead of doing all of my baking at once, I do it over the course of several weeks throughout the holidays.  This way, I always have something fresh to serve, and I also have goodies to give away to friends and family.  Right now, there are cellophane packages of peppermint bark in the fridge.  I will be making that again in a few days since it is so quick and easy.  I am also doing spritz cookies.  I am keeping plenty of baking supplies on hand for those urges that I tend to get this time of year that simply say, “go in the kitchen and bake.”  Who am I to argue?! 
  • Quick and easy last-minute gifts — Crocheting is relaxing to me.  How cool is it that I can create gifts while kicking back?!  Answer: VERY.  Before the busy season began, I found a few simple things to crochet that make nice gifts.  A lot of people will be receiving the one-row lace cowl (link to pdf at bottom of post) and the one-skein scarf (pdf).  I like that I can adjust both to suit the needs of the giftee by changing the number of stitches and/or rows, not to mention the size of the hooks. 

I keep forgetting to note that, although I’ve had a Tumblr for a very long time, I am just now starting to update it regularly with things that inspire me.  Think of it as my online inspiration board.  You can find it HERE

I am a wee bit scattered today (pretty obvious, eh?), so I’m going to watch my favorite home video from last winter and then finish those last stitches on Red is in the ‘hood.  I will be blocking that puppy sometime today. 

Tomorrow?  SOLSTICE!  In case I don’t make it back by then, have a merry and bright one.

Over and out.

putting on the spritz

swedish spritz cookies


Good Monday to you, folks.

The last several days have been everything that a December weekend should be and it included a blizzard, spritz cookies, being snowed in at home, twinkling lights, smoke chugging out of chimneys, Netflix and lots of good food, like roasted chicken and baked ziti.

It is hard to believe that it is so close to Solstice and that I have just this last week to finish my preparations.  It always goes by SO fast.  Still, I feel like I am in a good space, with just a few things left to do, like mail my cards/packages and crochet several small items.  My birthday is also just around the corner, on the 25th.  We always spend the day at home, inviting friends and family to visit.  Most of the time it is just the three of us and maybe Grandmum Anderson.

But, anyhow, back to today… a quick and easy dinner (BLTs? Pasta?), a husband home because it is so cold (-10F tonight, or -30F with the wind chill), some additional work on last month’s writing project, the sun low in the sky (yet making the ice in the trees sparkle), watching for the mail girl so that I can grab the packages before anyone else sees them, and getting started on another crocheted cowl.  (I have made five in the design below so far this season, for gifts.  What a fun and easy project!)

I am obviously in no mindset to be writing, so I’m hopping up and getting on with my day.  Have a good one!

lace cowl

putting on the ritz


Oh, dear.  I wonder what I should do with the rest of my day.  (Not really.) 

Yesterday, the UPS truck went right by my house without stopping.  That wasn’t very festive.  I actually followed the vehicle from window to window, and let out a very loud, “ugh!” when it went to my neighbor’s house instead.  I’m not up for any of those shenanigans today… if I even notice the truck since I’ll be busy tinkering with the lights.  (Actually, I’ll notice the truck no matter what.) 

Time to look for a spare bulb for the strand that won’t light up for me… Merry, merry!